Does Your Resume Suffer from the Ick Factor?

News flash. Suckish resumes are an epidemic in this country; I call it the Ick Factor. Sound harsh? It’s probably not harsh enough.

Anyone in HR will likely tell you that around 60% of the resumes that come across their desk are an utter waste of paper (both the virtual and the pulpy kind), while 80% can be deemed substandard at best.

And if you believe that higher-end professionals are immune from the resume Ick Factor, you are wrong. I have seen horrendous resumes from all employment sectors and professional levels, from administrative assistants and marketing directors to C-level executives and healthcare personnel.

So what are some of the ugly telltales of the Ick Factor?

  • GLARING TYPOS: Typos are insidious little buggers and can single-handedly kill your chances of gainful employment. I have seen people misspell the university from which they earned their communications degree, for Pete’s sake. I don’t make this stuff up.
  • CUTESY WORDING: “Fulltime Mom” and “Domestic Goddess” are not job titles. Blech.
  • INAPPROPRIATE PERSONAL INFORMATION: HR directors don’t need to know that you have three kids, a dachshund named Oscar Mayer or drive a lime green Prius. Seriously.
  • CRAPPY DOCUMENT FORMATTING: DOESN’T this sentence look oDd AND hard to ReAd? Same thing with funky formatting on your resume. It just makes you look like a jerk.
  • TOUTING NONEXISTENT COMMUNICATION SKILLS: Unless you are applying for a job as a comedian or The World’s Worst Liar, don’t write that you have excellent communication skills when your resume clearly demonstrates that, in fact, you do not.

If you know that you are a poor communicator, for whatever reason, it is your responsibility to get the help you need in regard to your resume. The “it’s good enough” mentality is simply not good enough in today’s competitive job market.

So what are you going to do about your lousy resume? Your mission, if you choose to accept it (and sadly, statistics suggest you probably won’t), consists of two options:

  1. PROOF, PROOF AND PROOF AGAIN: Spell check it first, then slowly read your resume out loud to ensure that it sounds right, and then have someone whom you trust give it a thorough proofing. Hopefully that should do it. Unless it doesn’t.
  2. HIRE IT OUT: There are tons of amazing professionals out there that can create a fabulous, error-free resume for you. Not everyone is a wordsmith, so choose your resume writer carefully; you don’t want to pay someone to make the same mistakes you did.

So take a little time in the next few days to remove whatever Ick Factors might be plaguing your resume and hindering your job search. Your future employed self will thank you.

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